Caitlin K Holley

Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, New York, United States

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Publications (5)12.62 Total impact

  • Caitlin K. Holley PhD · Benjamin T. Mast PhD ·
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    ABSTRACT: The current study examines several indicators of dementia severity and their relationship to anticipatory grief (AG) to investigate which aspects of the caregiving situation may lead to greater levels of AG. Eighty informal dementia caregivers completed interviews and questionnaires assessing their experiences, and regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between primary stressors (disease stage, hours of weekly care, ADL and IADL impairments and behavior problems) and AG. Results revealed that behavior problems were the only variable which was significantly associated with AG, and follow-up analyses revealed that adult child and spouse caregivers responded differently to different types of behavior problems. Overall, the grief experiences of dementia caregivers appear to be more strongly related to behavioral problems than other indicators of disease severity.
    Clinical Gerontologist 07/2010; 33(3-3):223-236. DOI:10.1080/07317111003793443 · 0.94 Impact Factor
  • Caitlin K Holley · Benjamin T Mast ·
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    ABSTRACT: Interest in anticipatory grief (AG) has typically focused on terminal diseases such as cancer. However, the issues involved in AG are unique in the context of dementia due to the progressive deterioration of both cognitive and physical abilities. The current study investigated the nature of AG in a sample of dementia caregivers and examined the relationship between AG and caregiver burden. A total of 80 informal caregivers of individuals with dementia completed interviews and questionnaires assessing their experience of grief, physical and mental health, aspects of the caregiving situation, and the level of patient impairment. Hierarchical linear regression models were used to examine whether AG is significantly associated with caregiver burden. AG was shown to be significantly and independently associated with caregiver burden in this sample, beyond the effects of known predictors such as background characteristics, behavior problems in the care recipient, and depressive symptoms. The current results suggest that grief may be an important yet understudied aspect of the caregiving experience. It is likely that consideration of grief in future conceptualizations of caregiver burden can lead to better support for caregivers and more accurate predictions of outcomes.
    The Gerontologist 05/2009; 49(3):388-96. DOI:10.1093/geront/gnp061 · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Caitlin K Holley · Benjamin T Mast ·
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine whether the impact of conjugal loss on depression is greater in the presence of vascular risk factors (CVRFs) (stress vulnerability hypothesis), or whether conjugal loss and CVRFs are independent predictors of depression following spousal loss (independent pathways hypothesis). The current study is a secondary data analysis of the Changing Lives of Older Couples database, which is a study of older widowed persons. One thousand five hundred thirty-two participants engaged in a baseline interview, and interviews were conducted 6, 18, and 48 months after the death of a spouse. Spousal loss is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms at six months after the death. At 18- and 48-months postloss, CVRFs significantly predict depression onset, however no interactions between the two variables were seen at any of the three follow-up waves. Looking longitudinally from baseline to each follow-up wave, the widows with low CVRFs were at greater risk for elevated depression at six-months postloss than the non-widows with low vascular risk, and all widows were at a greater risk for elevated depression at 18-months postloss. At 48-month follow-up, those with high CVRFs who had not lost a spouse were at significantly greater risk for depression than the non-widows with low CVRFs. Results do not provide support for the stress-vulnerability hypothesis and suggest that loss and CVRFs are independent predictors of depression, whose effects vary with the passage of time.
    American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 08/2007; 15(8):690-8. DOI:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3180311209 · 4.24 Impact Factor
  • Caitlin Holley · Stanley A Murrell · Benjamin T Mast ·
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine two competing hypotheses as they relate to the relationship between vascular and psychosocial risk factors for late-life depression. The stress-vulnerability hypothesis predicts that the depressogenic effect of psychosocial risk is stronger in the presence of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs). The other predicts that psychosocial risk factors and vascular risk factors are independent pathways to depression and that there is no combined effect of vascular risk factors and life stress. This study consisted of a longitudinal design (baseline, six-, and 12-month follow-up) predicting new episodes of significant depressive symptoms (CES-D >16) in 1,474 community-dwelling elders with low levels of depression at baseline (CES-D <8). There was a significant interaction between stress at wave 2 and CVRFs at baseline such that stress was a stronger predictor of wave 2 depression in participants who had two or more CVRFs. There was no evidence that CVRFs played a larger role in depression not preceded by a stressful life event than in depression that was preceded by a stressful life event. The depressogenic effect of stress was stronger in the presence of significant vascular risk (CVRFs). Vascular risk may increase one's vulnerability to depression by exacerbating the impact of stress on depression. One hypothesis for this finding is that vascular disease disrupts mood regulation circuits in the brain, which decrease its ability to respond to stressful events.
    American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 02/2006; 14(1):84-90. DOI:10.1097/01.JGP.0000192504.48810.cb · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    Caitlin Holley ·

Publication Stats

83 Citations
12.62 Total Impact Points


  • 2010
    • Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
      Albany, New York, United States
  • 2006-2009
    • University of Louisville
      • Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
      Louisville, KY, United States